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EU contribution to Framework Convention on Climate Change

The Commission has published a working paper on the EU contribution to the forthcoming Framework Convention on Climate Change which will be held in Berlin from 28 March to 7 April 1995. The contribution concerns the following: - Changing market structures: completing the int...

The Commission has published a working paper on the EU contribution to the forthcoming Framework Convention on Climate Change which will be held in Berlin from 28 March to 7 April 1995. The contribution concerns the following: - Changing market structures: completing the internal market: Electricity generation from fossil energy sources and gas account for nearly 50% of energy related CO2 emissions in the EU. The role of market liberalization in limiting CO2 emissions needs to be further emphasized. A rapid implementation of the trans-European networks (TENs) is needed. The TENs optimize the use of electricity generation capacity (including low carbon capacity) throughout the EU and bring low carbon fuels to regions where they have not been used previously. - Removing barriers to energy efficiency improvements and to penetration of renewable energies: There is a considerable Community dimension to improving energy efficiency. Energy efficiency measures could be strengthened within the forthcoming SAVE II programme as well as Community support to urban and regional energy management. - Transport: changing market structures, improving vehicle efficiency and fostering behavioural change: The transport sector in the EU accounts for about 25% of total CO2 emissions, which are forecast to increase significantly as transport demand is likely to continue its upward trend. Economic and fiscal instruments, technical measures, RTD for new technologies (electric vehicles), voluntary commitments, transport planning and infrastructure investments are the main types of instruments to achieve these objectives. - Fiscal instruments: integrating environmental concerns in the fiscal system: The Commission maintains the approach contained in its 1992 proposal on the CO2/energy tax, but it notes that the proposal poses serious short-term implementation problems for a number of Member States. The Commission believes that, for the Member States which wish to press ahead with environmental taxes on energy, an amendment introducing a transitional phase would be appropriate. - New technologies and RTD: Technological development will play a crucial role in order to stabilize and reduce CO2 emissions beyond the year 2000. In addition to the Member States' RTD programmes, the Community has another key instrument for development of new energy technologies under the JOULE/THERMIE programme. - External relations: The EU's greenhouse gas limitation strategy has to be seen as part of a global effort to limit climate change. The CO2 emissions of the EU represent about 16% of global emissions. Given economic and population development in third countries this percentage is bound to decline over the coming decades. Exploiting cost-effective options to limit CO2 emissions within the EU is essential as far as it can convince other countries to pursue a more sustainable future. It should become more attractive for third countries to introduce cleaner, more efficient technologies. The main conclusion of the working paper concerns the reduction of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. Technical options are available which could in principle achieve the stabilization of CO2 emissions in a cost-effective way throughout the period 2000-2010. Beyond the stabilization, a technical potential exists to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 10% in 2010.